Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do..
With news that West Ham’s wayward talent Ravel Morrison has been charged with assault, we look at some other footballing bad boys.
Friday’s unsung talent was the subject of a biography “The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw” and the cover of a Super Furry Animals’ single called “The Man Don’t Give a F@ck”. And he certainly didn’t. The image shows him giving the V-sign to a goalkeeper in celebration of a goal, which landed him a two-match ban and was symbolic of his career.
The maverick player was fond of a drink, as the “mild” and “bitter” tattoos on his chest attested, and he spent some time in borstal as a teenager before embarking on a career in professional football that never really lived up to his undoubted potential.
He once celebrated a goal by kissing a policeman but immediately regretted it as “he hated coppers so much”. His career ended at 25 as he struggled with his demons. After spending time in prison for impersonating a police officer so he could confiscate people’s drugs, he died aged 38 from a suspected heroin overdose.
On the pitch Brazilian striker Edmundo was a goal machine, off the field he was a notorious hell-raiser. The Animal’s first brush with the law in 1995 saw him found guilty of drink driving and manslaughter but he was allowed to leave prison during the day to play football.
His time at Fiorentina, where he formed a potent partnership with Gabriel Batistuta, was marred by off-the-field incidents and he regularly upset the club by flying back to Brazil to party.
In 1999 he notoriously hired a circus for his back garden and caused outrage when he was allegedly photographed plying a monkey with beer and whiskey. He eventually retired at 40 and declared that he wanted to become a policeman.
Peter Storey was an Arsenal legend in the 1960s and 70s. Like most players of that era he initially chose to spend his retirement as a pub landlord but his life soon spiraled out of control.
He was charged with conspiracy to counterfeit money and in order to raise funds to flee to Spain he decided to open a brothel. Storey was sentenced to three years imprisonment but his incarceration in Wandsworth Prison didn’t halt his criminal career.
He was later handed a suspended sentence for stealing two cars and spent a further month in prison for trying to smuggle 20 porn videos into England which were hidden in the spare tyre of his car.
Michael Branch was deemed a special talent as a youngster at Everton but it was a different kind of Special Branch that was to typify his career. A ten-year-old Wayne Rooney had posters of Branch on his bedroom wall and he had a blistering start to his Everton career, before having little impact at a series of clubs such as Wolves, Birmingham City and Bradford City.
Aged 35, the striker should be retiring around now looking back on a glittering career. However, he had descended into a world of crime and was sentenced to seven years for supply of class-A and class-B drugs in 2012.
Justin Georcelin’s name probably won’t ring a bell unless you were a fan of Championship Manager 01/02. Or a Northampton law enforcer. The talented striker was a must-buy on the management simulation game, becoming a world star no matter what side you signed him for.
However, Georcelin’s potential in real life was cut short after falling in with the wrong crowd whilst a youngster at Northampton Town. The striker developed a £500 a day crack habit and resorted to knife attacks on taxi drivers to fund his habit, and was jailed for nine years.